After Celtics general manager Danny Ainge acknowledged earlier Thursday that the two sides were close to a deal, a source told ESPN.com that it unraveled when McGee wanted a player option for next season while the Celtics wanted a team option.
He has averaged 4.6 points and 2.7 rebounds this season in 23 games -- 17 with the Nuggets and six with Philadelphia.
The Celtics (24-35) are 11th in the Eastern Conference standings but only two games behind the Charlotte Hornets for the eighth playoff spot.
"JaVale is a long, athletic guy, and we don't have that type of player -- an above-the-rim offensive and defensive player," Ainge said earlier Thursday during his weekly appearance on Boston sports radio 98.5 The Sports Hub. "He's been paid a lot of money in our league, had some injuries, hasn't lived up to his potential yet, and we're hoping that he can under [Celtics coach Brad Stevens'] tutelage.
"I think he's in a good place, emotionally and mentally, and he really wants to get his career on the right path."
However, that path apparently will be with another team.
Celtics general manager Danny Ainge acknowledged Thursday that the two sides were close to a deal.
"JaVale is a long, athletic guy, and we don't have that type of player -- an above-the-rim offensive and defensive player," Ainge said during his weekly appearance on Boston sports radio 98.5 The Sports Hub. "He's been paid a lot of money in our league, had some injuries, hasn't lived up to his potential yet, and we're hoping that he can under [Celtics coach Brad Stevens'] tutelage.
"I think he's in a good place, emotionally and mentally, and he really wants to get his career on the right path."
The 7-footer has averaged 4.6 points and 2.7 rebounds this season in 23 games -- 17 with the Nuggets and six with Philadelphia.
McGee would be eligible to play in the postseason because he was waived before the playoff-eligibility deadline,
The Celtics (24-35) are 11th in the Eastern Conference standings through Wednesday's games but only two games behind the Charlotte Hornets
MIAMI -- There was a moment in the second half of Wednesday's Los Angeles Lakers-Miami Heat contest when Hassan Whiteside looked as if he might wrestle again.
Monday against the Phoenix Suns, Whiteside's takedown of Alex Len cost him $15,000.
This time, when Ed Davis brought the Heat big man down with a rather routine foul, Whiteside restrained himself after quickly bouncing off the floor, walking away from Davis rather than throwing a shoulder into his waist.
There was another moment when Whiteside laid on the floor for an entire defensive possession after Jordan Hill caught him in the face with an elbow. Once again, Whiteside shook that off without incident.
And it was there, in a five-point game, that, like in every other Heat game that means a lot to their playoff chances, Dwyane Wade let young Whiteside know it was time to simmer down and suck it up.
"It's my job to be on him," Wade said. "It's my job to let him go, as well, at certain times. But he respects me enough, from what I've done in this league and who I've played with in this league, to listen when I do approach him. We have a good relationship from that standpoint.
"When he gets mad enough, he'll dunk it over everybody, but with that, he's got to understand what's gonna come: some hard fouls. He's gonna have to go back and look at the Shaqs of the world, the guys before him that do things like that, and see how they had to present themselves and keep themselves calm. But he's very, very, very important to this team's success."
And this is where the Miami Heat are: a team in transition, again, that needs Whiteside to keep it together so this team can keep it together and reach the postseason in this tumultuous start to the post-LeBron James era. Because when Whiteside does keep his head, when he does brush off the hard fouls and the no-calls and ignores the fact he doesn't get post touches often, he can be dominant.
He was exactly that Wednesday, especially late in a game the Lakers tried to steal (or maybe a game they successfully gave away, depending on your theory on the Lakers' tanking efforts) in the final minutes.
After re-entering the game for the final time with 7:29 left in the fourth and the Lakers leading 84-81, Whiteside grabbed nine of his career-high 25 rebounds and scored eight of his 18 points, including a massive finish off a Wade lob with 57 seconds left. Whiteside added four blocks to his massive rebounding total, which is second only to Rony Seikaly's 34 for most boards in a game in Heat history.
But it was the emotional restraint -- the type he didn't show when retaliating toward Len -- that allowed Whiteside to shine in the closer role.
"It just basically got to the point where there's nothing I can do," Whiteside said. "I can't control any of that. There ain't nothing I can do about the technical. It's just more money lost.
"Guys, they're gonna beat me up every day. I guess that's the scouting report."
Interestingly, there isn't much more of a scouting report to be had on Miami at the moment. Goran Dragic played just his seventh game with Miami, Wade is still shaking off the rust from his most recent hamstring-related layoff, and in-season additions Henry Walker, Michael Beasley and Tyler Johnson are getting regular minutes while learning on the fly.
It's all the more reason Whiteside has gone from inspirational story to absolute necessity for Miami.
There has been very little consistency in the Heat's game since Dragic made his Miami debut on Feb. 21. But in that 4-3 span for Miami, Whiteside has averaged 14.7 points, 15.6 rebounds, 2.9 blocks and shot 61 percent from the floor.
If he's doing that, Wade and Dragic can essentially take turns being aggressive and discovering a chemistry. And the Heat in general can unearth an identity while not falling out of the playoff picture.
Dragic said he paid attention to Whiteside while he was still playing with Phoenix, especially after Whiteside's triple-double game against the Bulls in Chicago on Jan. 25. The league's reigning most improved player said he never has played with anyone like Whiteside, however, and he's finding it very much to his liking.
"Maybe with Shaq, but he was already old," Dragic said with a laugh. "It's crazy. It looks so easy for him to get 20 points and 25 rebounds. It's unbelievable.
"This is my seventh game here, and it's much easier to get to the rim than in Phoenix because he's so dominant. The big guys have to make a decision, whether they're going to pick me or go back to him. And then, you just read it."
Based on that spectacular lob and finish in the game's final minute, it's safe to say Wade has a good grasp of reading defenses when running the pick-and-roll with Whiteside.
And Wade is starting to get a grasp of the type of talent he's playing alongside as well.
"He's what you call 'special,' " Wade said. "He's so long, man. Everything that comes off the rim, he gets an opportunity to touch it. They gotta put three guys on him, sometimes, to stop him."
On Monday, extra physical activity got Whiteside ejected. Wednesday, it brought out the best in him -- perhaps another sign of development in what has been a sudden and most impressive growth spurt.
Wade's last two assists set up Whiteside for crucial scores in the final moments. The Heat held on to the No. 7 spot in the Eastern Conference playoff race and posted two straight home wins for the first time in more than four months.
Ray Allen announced Wednesday that he will not play this season but stopped short of declaring himself retired, saying he will reassess his options next season.
"Over the past several months, I have taken a lot of time to deliberate what is best for me," Allen said in a statement released by his agent. "I've ultimately decided that I will not play this NBA season. I'm going to take the remainder of this season, as well as the upcoming off-season, to reassess my situation, spend time with my family and determine if I will play in the 2015-16 season."
At the conclusion of the 2014 NBA Finals, Allen made it clear he felt content and was unsure he would play again. However, numerous teams made contract offers and tracked him for months, in some cases leaving roster spots open for when he indicated he was ready to play again.
Allen continued to work out at his home in Miami, and at certain points in the season, teams courting him felt confident he would rejoin the league for a 19th season. The Cleveland Cavaliers, who have three of Allen's former Miami Heat teammates including LeBron James, were especially hopeful they could get Allen to sign. James met with Allen in January as he was rehabbing injuries in South Florida.
But while Allen kept the door open, teams started moving on around the trade deadline as it started to appear that Allen was going to sit the season out after he didn't make a commitment following the All-Star break. He made it official in a release from his agency, Tandem.
"Ray has received enormous interest from a number of NBA teams throughout this season," his agent Jim Tanner said in the statement. "We will communicate with interested teams as Ray makes a decision for the 2015-16 season."
Issac Baldizon/NBAE/Getty ImagesGoran Dragic has been getting to the free throw line more since joining the Heat.
1. The Miami Heat are projected to win 37 games, have a 60 percent chance of making the playoffs, and have the second-easiest remaining schedule, according to ESPN's BPI.
2. Goran Dragic has a career average of 4.2 free throw attempts per 36 minutes, but was getting a career low of 2.9 free throws per 36 minutes this season in Phoenix. Since coming to Miami, he has averaged 6.1 free throws per 36 minutes.
3. The Lakers will keep their first round pick provided it is in the top 5, otherwise it will belong to Philadelphia. The Lakers have a 74 percent chance of keeping their pick, according to BPI.
4. Ed Davis leads the Lakers in scoring efficiency with a true-shooting percentage of 60 percent and is seventh in the league with an offensive rebound percentage of 13 percent. The only 25-year-olds to have seasons at those levels or above since 2000 are DeAndre Jordan, Tyson Chandler, and Robin Lopez.
Whiteside has been fined $15,000 for escalating the incident by wrestling Len to the floor during Monday's game at Miami.
The fines were announced Tuesday by NBA executive Rod Thorn.
Miami won the game 115-98.
Sources told ESPN's Chris Broussard that the Golden State Warriors likewise have interest in signing McGee once the big man clears waivers Wednesday at 5 p.m.
Sources say McGee is drawing interest from a number of teams looking to add size after his release Sunday by the Philadelphia 76ers, who acquired McGee via trade from Denver on Feb. 19 and then waived him before Sunday's midnight playoff-eligiblity deadline, ensuring that the 7-footer would be eligible to play in the playoffs with another team this season.
After ESPN.com reported Sunday afternoon that the Sixers and McGee were engaged in buyout talks, Philadelphia ultimately consented to release the 27-year-old without forcing him to surrender any salary. McGee had roughly $3 million left from his $11.25 million salary this season when he was acquired by the Sixers and is owed $12 million next season.
The Sixers were willing on deadline day to take all that money on because they were millions below the league's salary floor and because they also acquired a future first-round pick from the Nuggets, who simply wanted to move McGee out.